LONDON: Around 132 million COVID-19 vaccines were administered across the UK’s four countries in 2021, as part of the largest vaccination program in UK history.
This marks the end of a monumental year for the NHS, with more than 1.6 million people in the UK receiving a booster or third dose in the last week of 2021 – meaning nearly 34 million more people now have the protection they need from the Omicron variant at the start of the new year. About 50 million received a first dose this year and more than 47 million received a second of a COVID-19 vaccine. Over 90% of people aged 12 and over have now received their first dose and 82.4% have received their second.
This week, the government confirmed it had met its goal of offering all eligible adults in England the chance to get a COVID-19 booster by the end of December – with the latest data showing 28.4 million adults in England have received a supplemental dose. 3 out of 4 eligible adults in England have now received a booster.
Recent data released by the UKHSA shows how important it is to receive the vaccine, with people who have not been vaccinated up to eight times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and the booster vaccine has been shown to be 88% effective in keeping people from ending up in hospital due to Omicron.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country and around the world – ONS data released on Friday shows that one in 25 people in England had COVID-19 last week, which rose to 1 in 15 in London.
The government is urging people to use caution when starting to make plans after the holidays, performing regular testing and making sure to get their recall as soon as possible to protect against the variant.
Health and Social Affairs Secretary Sajid Javid said:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges our health service has ever faced and our historic immunization program has been critical in helping us meet this challenge.
132 million vaccinations in just one year are amazing and a true reflection of the fantastic work of our NHS and its volunteers – I want to thank each and every one of them.
But we have to make sure that people keep coming forward for their saving stroke. As we move into the new year, make sure you get a boost now to kick off 2022 with the best possible protection from Omicron.
The COVID-19 booster vaccination program has been a national effort for the NHS and the public, with tens of thousands of volunteers stepping up to support NHS staff and millions lining up to ensure their protection and that of others.
On November 30, the government announced its ambition to offer all eligible adults the opportunity to get their complementary jab by the end of January. This goal was put forward by the Prime Minister and the NHS last month as part of the national Get Boosted Now campaign, aimed at offering all eligible adults a booster by New Years in response to the emerging threat of Omicron variant, in order to protect the public as As fast as possible.
The campaign led to a huge increase in vaccination rates, with more than 8 million complementary vaccines administered in just over two weeks in England (a 45% increase), between December 12, when the Prime Minister stated the new ambition and Thursday, December 30. .
The NHS in England has broken record after record during this period – including the most vaccinations ever recorded in a single day: 830,000 refills reported on Saturday 18 December. It was also the day the UK reached over a million total vaccinations, including the first, second, third and third booster doses, up from 928,000 the day before.
This week, the NHS ensured that more than 1.5 million appointments were still available between December 27 and tomorrow (Monday January 3), allowing anyone eligible who had not yet had the reminder the opportunity to make an appointment. Millions of additional slots are available beyond January 3.
To meet the ambitious goal and ensure that the country is offered protection against the new variant, the COVID-19 vaccination program has been accelerated and significantly intensified over the past month. This included:
more than 3,000 vaccination sites opened, with 180 new sites opening in December – including football stadiums, shopping malls and Christmas markets, with extended opening hours and some sites operating 24 hours a day ; send over 30 million people of NHS invitations in 2021, including over 3.9 million letters, 26.7 million text messages and 14.7 million emails urging people to book online; text everyone in the country urging them to get boosted; the enlistment of 750 members of the armed forces to support the deployment, alongside a new dynamic that has led to the recruitment of tens of thousands of volunteers; and temporarily suspend the 15 minute observation period after the Pfizer or Moderna booster jabs, when clinically safe and appropriate, in order to achieve more jabs in the arms.
Vaccine Minister Maggie Throup said:
Britain’s COVID-19 vaccination program is something we can all be proud of – having provided tens of millions of people with protection against this deadly virus in the past year. I want to thank the NHS and the volunteers who have worked incredibly hard for this achievement.
For those eligible who have not yet come forward – Boost yourself now to keep you and your loved ones safe as we begin the New Year.
While two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine offers strong protection against the Delta variant, data from the UK Health Security Agency shows that two doses are not enough to protect people from Omicron – but a third dose provides protection approximately 70% against symptomatic Omicron infection two to four weeks after the booster is given.
Getting a first and second jab is essential, in order to be eligible for a booster to gain vital protection against Omicron. Recent UKHSA data shows that unvaccinated people are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated.
If someone has contracted COVID-19 and has not yet received their booster, after 28 days they are encouraged to reserve their jab as soon as they can.
Those eligible for a booster shot who have delayed making an appointment due to other acute illnesses are also encouraged to book as soon as they are fully recovered.
All adults can get the vaccine by booking online through the National Reservation Service or by going to the nearest walk-in vaccination center.
NHS Immunization Program Director Dr Emily Lawson said:
The NHS COVID-19 vaccination program has delivered more than 111 million life-saving doses across England, with three in four eligible adults receiving their life-saving booster injection thanks to the rapid expansion of the booster program over the years. last few weeks. While more than 28 million people have already accepted the offer of a supplement dose, many people may not yet have been able to do so, for example because they have had COVID-19, and j ‘urges anyone to get their call back to book ASAP.